Earlier this week a friend and I were texting back and forth.

More than almost anyone else over these last five months, she has faithfully made an effort to go out of her way to connect and be present, to take some extraordinary measures to steal away a bit of time with me at the hospital or my house at some point once or twice each week.  Ironically, her life and obligations being what they are, more than almost anyone else, she is also who I would most understand if she only managed to send a text or an email here and there and didn’t do all she has done in order to come and see me regularly.

She has been gracious and understanding about the fact that some days I don’t know when nurses are coming until an hour before and that other days I end up needing to go to the hospital right around the time she had been planning to come and our visit ends up consisting of throwing last minute things into my hospital bag.  She’s been considerate of the fact that some days just sitting and being together is more helpful than me feeling obligated to ‘entertain’ or ‘rehash’ whatever is currently going on or trying to keep up with a long conversation.  Perhaps most appreciated right now, she has provided great entertainment and laughter, especially thanks to some of our texting conversations – things I’m sure would have most people scratching their heads trying to decipher what in the world we were talking about.  But hey, in the midst of hard stuff, laughter is a good – and, all too often, rare – thing!  And she, as always, prays faithfully for me.

Our life situations could hardly be more different.  Superficially, I’m sure the journey God has had each of us on seem to have little in common.  Yet from our first real conversation several years ago now, it was apparent God had reasons He knew we needed to be friends.  Over that time, we’ve had many long conversations, prayed for one another and been grateful for the gift of friendship God has blessed us with.

In the course of our texts earlier this week, both sharing what was going on that particular day, and neither of us especially hopeful about our individual circumstances, I was reminded of what a precious gift it is when God gives you friends that have faith for you in the situations that it has sometimes become hard to continue to hope and pray when you are in the middle of them.

Sometimes we become so entrenched in just battling to survive or keep from drowning – whatever that may look like in our own particular lives – and we have been in that place for so long, that it becomes almost impossible to see beyond that, or to think, believe, hope, or even pray that circumstances will ever be anything other than they currently are.

And, it seems, like God knows there are going to be those times, and so He gives us people who believe, hope, pray, or have faith for us – because He knows that from our limited human perspective, it can be so easy to get so bogged down ‘in the middle’ or ‘in the moment.’

Crystal said it so well on the Soul Munchies When Faith is Hard blog post from this weekend.

I’m so thankful for that community we’ve found. People willing to truly do life with us. The good, the bad, the ugly. People willing to pray when I don’t know the words to say. People who remind me that when there are no words, simply turning to God and asking God to show up…pleading with God to be present…that can be the most beautiful prayer of all.

I’m blessed with a handful of friends, like this – scattered across the globe.  This most eclectic community of friends that God has given me are people He has allowed me to pray and believe for when they need it, just as they also have faith in the moments I can’t even see straight to know what to think or pray or ask or believe.

I am so grateful for each of them!  And, in the midst of a time that has been isolating in so many ways, I am incredibly thankful for the friends who God has allowed me to actually physically share space with periodically over these last months, when we can talk and encourage and have faith for one another in person!